He kissed his blood covered knuckles pushing the pallid freckled boy out into the freezing rain. “your nothing but a hired ass, nothing but an ignorant carrot top and don’t you forget it boy.” The boy trotted away from the polluted factory taking with him a black eye and a bloody nose. He stumbled down the cracked cobble stone street, rain washing blood and disease down the gutter. “Declan” the piercing voice of his mother pervaded his clouded mind an image of her pure face arose urging him on. Cold, grease covered hands, beaten hole ridden boots, and a weak catholic soul. He turns down a dark yet familiar alley leading to his living hell. The filth covered whores hoot and holler the drunks bumble about. Orphans beg, eyes reflecting their own inevitable death. Declan trudges on, ill and unemployed. The alley becomes narrow as he turns in between two leaning brick buildings leading to a small courtyard, canvas tarps cover dilapidated roofs. Cracked windows glow with oil lamps. The smell of unbathed bodies assaults his nostrils as he slips inside a putrid boarding house. The oak floors are stained black the dim lit hallway leads him to a creaky bedroom door. He knocks once and sways feeling dizzy.
The door quickly swings open to reveal a curly mess of red hair and a worried freckled face similar to his own. His own mother, a woman’s rights activist and seamstress or degenerate Irish in the eyes of society pulls him into a hug. The has the aesthetic of a cardboard box. One grimy window cast the light of the moon onto the crumby floor. Tattered curtains hang around a collapsing twin bed. A table with exactly two chairs sits in the center of the room. A crooked cross stitched Gaelic saying hangs from a nail on the crumbling plaster wall. “lost me job mum, gave me a right good beaten befores the boot too.” He sighed into her bosom. “Oh dearest. I told yer father you was just too young. Go on and clean up for dinner child.” She took his cap for his head and handed him a white rag. Stirring hot water stew she mumbled to herself, “Whores on the prowl, children in the streets, and an unfergiving merciless man sitting atop it all making mock of the fools in the lower zoo. Rights fer women? Ha need to regain our damn rights to be human.” She stirred. “I’m sorry mum, they just don’t want no irish mecs in the place is all. The better off get better and the worse off die.” Declan mumbled sitting at a wobbly wood table. “when did you ever become so cynical boy? It’s the Land of opportunity child.”